Prevention, Early Detection and Screening Network

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European Cancer Summit 2023 Session: No Letting Up - The Next EU Agenda for Prevention, Early Detection and Screening

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Watch the session recording here and read the full European Cancer Summit 2023 Report to discover the rich and diverse discussions of this session.

Our open letter on screening recommendations

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Read our open letter on the new EU Council Recommendations on Cancer Screening.


Earlier is Better: Advancing Cancer Screening and Early Detection

Community 365 Roundtable on Early Detection and Screening

Presentation by Isabel Rubio in June 2021.

With a focus on secondary cancer prevention, the Network held a special Community 365 Roundtable Event on Cancer Early Detection and Screening in June 2021. The meeting brought together leading policy-makers, politicians, oncology experts and patient advocates to discuss: 

  • Key scientific and technological developments in improving early detection for all cancers 
  • Reviewing the experience of EU level initiatives on breast and colorectal cancer screening since the 2003 EU Council Recommendations
  • The case for EU level initiatives to support lung cancer screening and early detection strategies for prostate cancer 

The Network then published this landmark stakeholder consensus statement outlining its key recommendations.

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The report identifies pressing needs to be included in the formal advice from the European Commission and Federation of European Academies of Medicine (FEAM) to EU Member States, including: 

  • Developing EU Council Recommendations covering both cancer screening and early detection 
  • Reflecting advances in cancer screening, including the greater deployment of risk-based approaches 
  • Setting ambitious goals and advice on improved screening and early detection strategies for additional tumour types, including lung, prostate, and other cancers 
  • Increasing public awareness of the warning signs of cancer 
  • Leveraging the advancement of new technologies in cancer early detection across tumour types, including Next-Generation Sequencing, AI and liquid biopsies


Key Report on Primary Prevention
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In May 2021, the Network held a High-Level Meeting on Primary Prevention, co-chaired by Matti Aapro, President of the European Cancer Organisation, and Rui Medeiros, President of the Association of European Cancer Leagues.

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Presentation by WHO Europe Cancer Ambassador, Aron Anderson, at the High-Level Meeting on Primary Prevention held on 28 May 2021.

The meeting brought together leading experts in primary prevention,  including representatives from the World Health Organization (WHO), the Union for International Cancer Control (UICC), the American Society of Clinical Oncology (ASCO) and many others.

Based on those discussions, the Network published an Action Report ‘Primary Prevention: United for Action’, focused on following areas: 

  • A Tobacco Free Europe: Reaching Our Destination Faster 
  • Action On Alcohol: New Windows of Opportunity 
  • Diet, Lifestyle and Preventing Cancer Through Improved Obesity Treatment 
  • Putting UV Radiation Protection In the Spotlight 

The Network also set up a Primary Prevention Hub, bringing together resources and information from the European Cancer Organisation Member SocietiesPatient Advisory Committee and other stakeholders.

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  • Read the ‘Primary Prevention: United for Action’ Report here
  • Watch the High-Level Meeting recording here
  • Access the Primary Prevention Hub here

Connecting Cancer Science to Policy Opportunities in Cancer Prevention, Early Detection and Screening 

The Hub has informed the Network's work with relevant decision-makers:

  • Responding to several European Commission consultations, including those on food labelling, alcohol labelling and air quality 
  • Providing advice to the European Commission on the implementation of a ‘Health Literacy for Cancer Prevention and Care’ initiative, as outlined in Europe’s Beating Cancer Plan
  • Contributing to the European Cancer Organisation’s Time To Actcampaign on the impact of Covid-19 on cancer by: 
    - Quantifying the impact of Covid-19 on cancer screening and diagnosis at European and national levels through the Time To Act Data Navigator 
    - Raising public awareness on cancer warning signs and the importance of monitoring them to allow for early detection 

Participating in a special Community 365 Roundtable Event on Genomic Tumour Testing held in December 2021 focused on current challenges and policy needs around patient access to advanced cancer diagnostics. The report can be read here.

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Adopting a Holistic Approach to Cancer Prevention

In 2020, the Network passed a resolution calling for more ambitious European cooperation on cancer screening as part of Europe’s Beating Cancer Plan. The resolution calls for:

  • An evidence-led update to the 2003 EU screening recommendations, including policies for tumour types such as lung & prostate cancer​
  • A European Cancer Dashboard that monitors screening coverage and quality performance
  • ​A European Platform for screening agencies to facilitate rapid sharing of best practices
  • ​EU research supporting screening policy needs, including new behavioural research insights, impact assessment, application of risk stratification approaches, and how to examine and assess new screening options.

The Network is proud that many of these priorities were incorporated into Europe’s Beating Cancer Plan.



Preventing cancer by modifying risk factors is the most cost-effective strategy. Prevention efforts include public awareness campaigns such as the European Code Against Cancer, and legislative and regulatory initiatives to reduce tobacco and alcohol use, improve diet, and encourage exercise.

Secondary prevention, including cancer screening and policies to  achieve earlier diagnosis can also dramatically improve patient outcomes.

The Prevention, Early Detection and Screening Network brings together experts and stakeholders from the European Cancer Organisation Member SocietiesPatient Advisory Committee, and Community 365, to drive fresh and stronger consensus on tactics and strategy.

To learn more or to support our work, please contact us This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

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